The LGTBQ+ has been an essential factor in our society. But unfortunately, it’s taken decades and efforts of those in and out of the community to reach the equal rights they have today. Parts of society have allowed opportunities for this group of people to live without fear or percussion, but more can be done. So many others continue this cause with marches, rallies, and organizations until the rest of society catches up.

Groups like GLADD, The Human Rights Campaign, The Matthew Shepard Foundation, and FORGE are bringing real change to their communities and the nation. People within these organizations are hard at work every day for the cause of LGTBQ+ rights to ensure that those in this community have the same human rights as many others. In addition, many additional groups and progressive-minded people have formed associations to cover all aspects of the life of members of the LGTBQ+ community and should be recognized for their endeavors.

GLSEN – New York, NY

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The GLSEN organization was established in 1990 by a group of educators in Massachusetts. Their goal was to improve the bullying and discrimination problem against LGBTQ students in schools from grades K-12. To accomplish this, they promote an inclusive & affirming curriculum. GLSEN also implements policies to ensure LGBTQ students learn in a safe environment and supports student-led clubs that push for change. There are also many programs that GLSEN presents to those wanting to help.

One of the programs the association offer is “Solidarity Week.” This September event showcases what allies of the LGTBQ+ can do to show their support. Another program that GLSEN offers is “Changing the Game,” which focuses on addressing LGBTQ issues in K-12 school-based athletic and physical education.

Black Aids Institution – Los Angeles, CA

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The Black Aids Institution (BAI), founded in 1999, states its mission is to “end the Black HIV epidemic through policy, advocacy, and high-quality direct HIV services.” Formed by influential AIDS activist Phill Wilson, the group values align with black empowerment, equity, impact, self-determination, and integrity. These efforts help stop the AIDS epidemic in Black and Black gay communities.

Their programs, such as “A Clinic for Us,” “HIV Prevention Research,” “Science & Treatment College,” and “Cut the Stigma,” bring awareness to this global issue and ways to combat it. The group has also partnered up with other coalitions with like-minded goals. Some groups involved in this partnership are The Federal AIDS Policy Partnerships and the AIDS United Group.

LGBTQ Freedom Fund – Delray Beach, FL

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No one should be unlawfully imprisoned, and the LGBTQ Freedom Fund understands that notion. Unfortunately, the rise of over-incarceration of the LGBTQ community has been a severe problem in America for a long time, and this organization hopes to stop that. The LGBTQ Freedom Fund website states that LGTBQ people are 3x more likely to be jailed. Fortunately, their efforts and hard work have posted bail for those held in jail or immigrant detention all over America.

The Trevor Project – West Hollywood, CA

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The Trevor Project is named after the 1998 Academy Award-winning short film. It is the first and the world’s largest crisis and suicide prevention hotline for LGBTQ+ teens and young adults. The association has helped thousand of LGTBQ youths with its various services. Its goal is to end suicide among LGTBQ+ young people with lifelines to professionals ready to help, a social network for LGBTQ+ youth 25 and younger, and their support center. Yet, that’s not where their help ends.

The Trevor Project also has robust advocates for change. The group strongly supports LGBTQ youth mental health prevention and intervention through legislation, litigation, and public education. In addition, it’s important to note their efforts to end conversion therapy. The Trevor Project has been part of the most extensive campaign for years to protect the young people of this community.

Marsha P. Johnson Institute – National

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Activist and drag queen Marsha P. Johnson was an outspoken advocate for gay rights. As a result, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute (MPJI) was created to honor her memory and efforts. The organization focuses on protecting and defending the human rights of Black transgender people and transgender artists. To accomplish this, the MPJI provides fellowships to help supply income for transgender artists and support community-driven projects in the Midwest and South.

Their workshops and programs include community organizing, artist fellowships, and working to empower those in the Black trans community across the United States. Marsha P. Johnson understood the importance of her community and the steps needed to uplift the artists in such a group.

Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elders – New York, NY

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The LGTBQ+ protection laws are still in the works in this country; unfortunately, there is a growing concern for aging LGBTQ folks. The Services & Advocacy for LGBT Elder (SAGE) is the oldest organization in the U.S that primarily focuses on LGTBQ+ elders. Created in 1978, the group has become the leading source of information on health, legal, and benefits for those in the elderly community. To make an impact on this topic, SAGE is there to speak for those who cannot.

Advocacy is vital to helping these elders, having key staff in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco, and combining their forces with nationwide affiliates. Their resources include the “HIV & Aging Policy Action Coalition (HAPAC)” and encourage residential long-term care facilities to adopt policies for LGBTQ+ older adults.

Immigration Equality – New York, NY

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Immigrants come to this country searching for a better life for themselves and their loved ones—part of that is equality. The Immigration Equality company extends to those in the LGTBQ+ community. The organization is helping LGBTQ, and HIV-positive immigrants in the United States and worldwide find safety and fair treatment. They provide free, direct legal services to those seeking asylum, binational LGBTQ members, immigrant detainees, and undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

The Immigration Equality group has been going strong with its efforts for over 25 years. They secure havens, freedom, and equality for the LGBTQ and HIV-positive communities and show no signs of slowing down.

National Center for Transgender Equality – Washington, D.C.

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The Nation Center of Transgender Equality was founded in 2003 and has advocated for ways to protect the freedom and liberties of transgender Americans ever since. They recognize the urgent need for policy change to advance transgender equality and work at the local and state level. In addition, they assist on a federal level to make the most significant impact possible. Their dedication to the cause includes the “Racial and Economic Justice Initiative.”

This initiative prioritizes the needs of transgender people of color and those who live in urban and rural poverty. The organization also features a trans legal services network, empower transgender people and allies, and provides tons of information on understanding non-binary people.

GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality – Washington, D.C.

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The GLMA is the largest association of LGBTQ healthcare professionals. The organization has worked hard for 30 years to ensure fair and equal healthcare for LGBTQ individuals and healthcare professionals. They have been instrumental in supporting health professional association resolutions and have been involved in important Capitol Hill briefings on LGTBQ+ health.

Los Angeles LGBT Center – Los Angele, CA

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The Los Angeles LGBT Center values the idea of “Respect” and “Inclusiveness.” Conceived in 1969, the group provides services for more LGBTQ+ people than any other organization. They offer health, social services, housing, culture, education, leadership, and advocacy services. Yet, the association provides more.

Part of what makes the Los Angeles LGBT Center so helpful is its need to provide aid for the youth. They do so by offering services in cases of homelessness, transitional homes, lifework mentorship, employment, school-based programs, and much more. The group also helps the trans community—healthcare, for example—and senior services.

Conclusion

These organizations are just some of the many groups that support, advocate, and help members of LGTBQ+. Many more are popping up on the same journey to equality for those in this community. Consider donating to these groups and others in your local area.